Christina Lu

Christina Lu

Overseas Sales Director and Co-Founder of KASU Laser, 12+ Years Textile and Fabric Laser Cutting Machine Expert.

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How To Laser Cut Flag, Banner, And Soft Signage?

One tool that has proven to be useful beyond comparison in producing different flag, banner, and soft materials is the Co2 laser cutter.

A laser cutter is an excellent tool for cutting the most difficult materials, and it has certainly contributed immensely to the growth of the textile industry.

Its potency goes beyond cutting smaller materials as it functions equally for cutting out larger materials like flags and banners as well.

This article exposes how the laser cutting machine is used to cut flags, banners, and other soft signage.

KASU KX Series CCD KX-F1 Single Head Single Beam 2
Laser Cut Flags, Banners, And Soft Signage

What Is A Soft Signage?

Much to the surprise of many, soft signage is one of the fastest-growing textile printing trends as well as a significant portion of the signage industry in previous years.

It involves printing displays on large surfaces using the digital printing technique.

The term “soft signage” is used to refer to many digitally printed materials, but they are actually limited to only a list of select materials.

In simple terms, soft signage refers to the usage of soft materials for high-quality graphic displays.

Expo and Display Ads - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter

But it can also be referred to as the technique of printing the finest displays on selected materials for different purposes.

It can either be used to create new products or alter the display on other products to make them more appealing.

Cloth Banner and Door Curtain - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter

Main Types And Applications Of Soft Signage

Some materials may not support soft signage due to their complex nature.

But the selected materials that embrace this technique can be used to produce different outstanding displays.

Here are some types of soft signage display and their applications.

✮ Banners:

A banner is a piece of clothing with displays that shows symbols, slogans, logos, write-ups, and other related displays.

There are several types of banners, but they are each used for a similar purpose: to draw attention and pass information to a group of people.

Soft signage is the most used among the many techniques employed in making a banner display because of its unique expression.

KASU LASER EXHIBITON - NANTONG CISMA 2021
Expo Banner
Political Banner - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter
Political Banner

✮ Flags:

A flag is a fabric material that consists of different distinctive colors and designs that represent or signify people or places.

They are uniquely crafted, each having a different display from the others.

Flags are a type of soft signage, and they are industrially printed in most cases to give them the perfect finishes they require.

KASU LASER APPLICATION BANNER AND FLAG
Sports Flag
KASU LASER DYE SUBLIMATION SOFT SIGNAGE AND BANNER
Advertising Flag

✮ Posters:

A poster is a material used for promoting events, ideas, products, etc.

It is often made with soft materials that support soft signage, so they are often temporal and not long-lasting.

Posters often include displays and write-ups, which are mostly digitally printed before they are put up in public places.

Digital Printed Poster and Painting On the Wall - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter
Poster and Painting On the Wall
Sale Banner and Poster - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter
Sales Banner and Poster

✮ Stickers:

A sticker is a unique type of label that sticks to the material it is introduced to.

Stickers are made of different materials, including plastic, paper, vinyl, and other materials that can be used for soft signage.

The displays are printed on one side of the material, while adhesive is introduced to the other side to make it stick strongly to surfaces.

Vinyl Car Advertising - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter
Car Sticker
Custom Vinyl Poster - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter
Store Window Sticker

Other common types of soft signage include light boxes, billboards, inflatables, and promotion t-shirts, among other outdoor advertising media.

Orange Blue Yellow and Green Hot Air Balloon - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter
Hot Air Balloon
Advertising Light boxes - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter
Light Boxes
Store Sunshade Display Advertising - laser cut flag banner and soft signage application-KASU Co2 Laser Cutter
Store Sunshade

How To Make Soft Signage?

Soft signage can be produced in three primary steps, and each step is as important as the others. Here are the steps for making soft signage.

✮ Step 1: Print

The first step to creating soft signage is printing the display.

Printed soft signage creates a high-quality impression with an excellent degree of flexibility.

Soft signage printing is done in two ways: the direct printing method and the sublimation method.

The direct printing method here involves printing directly to the soft signage material with ink.

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On the other hand, sublimation printing requires that the display be printed first on a piece of paper or alternative material before it is transferred to the soft signage material.

You can refer to the following video indicating how to make customized sublimation sportswear. It’s exactly the same process.

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✮ Step 2: Cut

After printing the display, the next step involves cutting out the soft signage to the appropriate size.

There are a few factors to consider when cutting out soft signage, but it all comes down to the type of soft signage being produced.

Cutting soft signage demands accuracy, so manufacturers often go for tools that they are most comfortable with.

✮ Step 3: Sewing/Welding

This is the last step, and it involves attaching the soft signage to exterior materials so that they can easily be fixed in specified places.

They are either sewn or welded, depending on the external material used.

General Manual Cutting Methods

The cutting process in soft signage production is quite tricky and can jeopardize the entire process if not accurately done.

Various tools can be used for this process, but the common soft signage cutting tools include:

knife or scissor manual cutting sublimation flag banner and soft signage - KASU Co2 Laser Cutter -sublimation laser cutting machine
Knife or Scissor
round knife manual cutting sublimation flag banner and soft signage - KASU Co2 Laser Cutter -sublimation laser cutting machine
Round Knife
Hot knife manual cutting sublimation flag banner and soft signage - KASU Co2 Laser Cutter -sublimation laser cutting machine
Hot Knife

Co2 Laser Cutter

A Co2 laser cutter is a cutting tool that uses laser technology to cut through materials accurately.

It is indeed the most advanced cutting tool used in textile industries today, and it is also the most popular.

The Co2 laser cutter is famous for its accuracy and versatility, making it ideal for cutting many materials, including soft signage. 

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Why Co2 Laser Cutter Is Ideal For Flags, Banners, And Soft Signage

As stated earlier, laser cutters are ideal for cutting various materials, including flags, banners, and other soft signage. Here’s why:

The speed with which laser cutters work is the first reason it is considered a top-cut tool. It optimizes the print and cut workflow to meet your customers’ deadlines fast.

The flexibility feature of the laser cutting machine further increases its appeal. It makes it possible to try out several new soft signage designs with several colors on different materials.

It is impossible to talk about the laser cutter without highlighting how accurately it cuts. Laser cuts are precise, smooth edges and sublime finishes afterward.

Contrary to several believe, a laser cutter does not consume too much workspace. In fact, you can operate a laser cutter perfectly on flags and banners in small factory spaces.

Laser cutters are not so expensive as many people assume. It also does not require too many manual inputs, thereby reducing the cost of labor and ensuring that you get maximum returns on your investment.

KASU LASER Client Factory 4

How To Laser Cut Printed Flags, Banners, And Soft Signage

A camera is necessary for printed flags, banners, and soft signage auto laser cutting, and it is attached to the laser cutter so that the laser can trace the contour lines of the printed graphics. 

✮ How to cut soft signage with CCD laser cutter

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Small CCD Laser

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Top Camera CCD Laser 

✮ Detection modes of CCD camera software

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Marking Point

For the printed flags (also can not have 2mm black contour line) with oversized length and need continuous cutting, Marking Point Detection Template Matching Mode is recommended.

After design file imported into software, the cutting path will be adjusted according to the relative position of the marking points from the graphics. 

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Contour Detect

For the printed flags with visible and clear edges, contour auto detection mode is recommended.

Design file is NO NEED for this working mode.

The cutting path will be generated automatically by the top vision software. 

Recommend Sublimation Laser Cutter Parameters

✮ 100W laser tube

The laser tube is the part of the laser cutter where the gas is stored for use. A 100W laser tube is much recommended for effective laser cutting.

Dual Head Laser cut sublimation flag banner and soft signage - KASU Co2 Laser Cutter -sublimation laser cutting machine

✮ Active feeder and conveyor belt

These two factory equipment helps to hold the soft signage in place and move the material quickly for the laser cutter to cut efficiently.

Laser cut sublimation flag banner and soft signage - KASU Co2 Laser Cutter -sublimation laser cutter
Conveyor Belt
KASU ROLL FABRIC LASER CUTTING MACHINE OPTIONAL DEVICE ACTIVE FEEDING MACHINE
Active Feeder

✮ Knife blade / honeycomb table

The knife blade or honeycomb table is optional, but it helps to cut and engrave hard signage like acrylic and wood by simply putting the independent tables on top of the conveyor belt.

KASU LASER K Series LASER CUTTING MACHINE BLADE KNIFE TABLE
Knife Blade Table
KASU LASER K Series LASER CUTTING MACHINE HONEYCOMB TABLE
Honeycomb Table

For you, you can just invest in one machine but can realize multi-cutting functions.

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Soft Signage Materials That Laser Can Cut

✮ Polyester, Lycra, Spandex, Dacron, Poplin and other poly-based fabrics

Poly based fabrics are mostly used in soft signage. 

Together with dye sublimation technology,  which dyes the fibers of the fabric other than a layer on top of the fabric, it gives you a nice and soft hand feeling and becomes washable.

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✮ PVC

PVC is a very popular material that is used for outdoor advertising, which is ideal for both short-term and repeats usage.

Printed on a selection of weather-resistant materials, outdoor PVC inflatables and banners deliver efficient and attractive results.

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✮ Attachable vinyl

Soft attachable vinyl materials are often used for soft signage, and they have the sticky feature that makes them self-attachable to external surfaces.

Co2 laser cutters can cut these attachable vinyl materials very accurately.

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✮ PU Leather

Leather is used for soft signage sometimes. It is flexible and can retain display for an extended.

The PU leather material is soft and easy to cut, but laser cutting can ensure perfectly smooth cut edges.

But for some white PU leathers, there will be slightly yellow edges left by the hot cutting of the laser.

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✮ Foam core

This material is for soft signage but on rare occasions, often involving indoor use.

It is a more temporary soft signage material that is perfect for short-term use and can be worked upon by a laser cutter.

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✮ Magnetic foils

Magnetic signs are the ideal solution for temporary or permanent signage. If you choose a quality thicker magnetic material, it will provide years of use. Magnetic signs can be affixed to any magnetic metals, and are easily applied and removed. The most popular use for magnetic signs is for vehicle graphics. You can click this link to understand more fabric and textiles cut by Co2 laser cutter.

Soft Signage Materials That Laser Can Not Perfectly Cut

✮ Canvas or oilcloth

The canvas or oilcloth is a material used for soft signage but do not respond well to laser cutting due to the yellow edge caused by the hot laser beams.

A knife blade is the preferred cutting tool.

Colored canvas soft signage laser cut samples - yellow edge by CO2 laser cutter

✮ Oscillating round knife cutting machine

The oscillating knife cutting machine uses a series of blades that are all effective for cutting several materials, but the oscillating round knife cutter is considered the most efficient tool cutting canvas soft signage materials.

The cold knife cutting mode will leave a very cleaned edge for the above-mentioned two materials compared with laser cutters.

Sublimation canvas perfect cutting tool - oscillating round knife cutting machine with top camera

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